Opening a door - move action?


Combat


Something that bothers me with open door being a move action is that when a party rushes to a door, the one opening the door gets to go through last, unless he was next to the door at the beginning of his turn. In play, this has resulted in characters delaying their actions until a slower character can come open the door in question, because this enables faster characters to move further than if they opened the door themselves.

Example:

Spoiler:
A party consists of two characters:
Don the Dwarf in a full plate(speed 20ft)
Elm the Elven Barbarian (speed 40ft)

These two fight V the Villain and Bob Bodyguard. They have to catch Vin at all costs.

V orders his bodyguards to cover his escape and flees through an open door. Bob closes the door and engages Elm.

Elm's turn comes up. He decides that catching V is more important than worrying about Bob. If he moves to the door and opens it, he is done for the round and V is still far away, and V's turn comes up before Elm's turn in initiative order. Don can't each V either because he is too slow. On the other hand, if he lets Don open the door for him, he might just catch V. With this in mind, he waits until Don has opened the door for him.

Was this realistic? No. Was this cool? No. Was this effective? Yes. Is there a problem? Yes.

This happens because opening a door is move action. If it cost less in terms of actions, faster characters Would be less likely to wait for slower characters to clear the path for them.

One option I can see to fix this is to make opening doors a swift action. This might be the most simple solution I can come up with, although it might be too fast that way.

Another option would be to make opening a door cost some amount of movement, (10ft?) so that characters could open a door and go through with only one move action. This option would reduce but not eliminate the problem, as faster characters would still get further if they allowed slower characters to clear the path for them.

Liberty's Edge

Why not make it a dex check? If you roll above DC20, you can open it as a swift action. Like dismounting with a ride check...


I think this is really too much metagame thinking. It's completely thinking inside the rules where everyone acts after each other and not at the same time.
And I think it's realistic. Ever tried to run really fast for 6m and open a door that opens towards you without stoping for half a second?

Your problem does not result from opening a door being a move action, but from doing turn based combat.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

There was a fairly long and in depth discussion about this issue not too long ago. I wish I could find it - it included a number of options for handling door opening. I play 4e, which makes opening a door a minor action (swift action in 3e), and I house ruled that a character can take that action in the middle of their movement (so, move, open door, continue the move). There are a lot of possible solutions to the problem, but I don't think much of a consensus was reached in that thread.


Sebastian wrote:
I house ruled that a character can take that action in the middle of their movement (so, move, open door, continue the move). There are a lot of possible solutions to the problem, but I don't think much of a consensus was reached in that thread.

I was going to suggest similarly - keep it a move action, but allow it in the middle of movement. No more Player: "I step 5', open the door, then..", DM: "Sorry, that's it, move and move-equivalent."

Liberty's Edge

Majuba wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
I house ruled that a character can take that action in the middle of their movement (so, move, open door, continue the move). There are a lot of possible solutions to the problem, but I don't think much of a consensus was reached in that thread.
I was going to suggest similarly - keep it a move action, but allow it in the middle of movement. No more Player: "I step 5', open the door, then..", DM: "Sorry, that's it, move and move-equivalent."

Something similar to this is what I've been using.

Opening the door (as is picking an item up off the ground, off a table, etc) is a move action; but it's done in the middle of another move action.

So if you were that barbarian in the OP's post, and have 40'; you could move 15' up to the door, open the door (or pick up a fallen weapon, or take something from a character who is handing it to you etc), then finish your move by moving 25' down the hallway. Still a double-move, but you don't have to "stop" your move at the time you do the other move - which usually winds up opening a door or picking up an item as a move and a half action (as it stands.)

Robert

Dark Archive

Xuttah wrote:
Why not make it a dex check? If you roll above DC20, you can open it as a swift action. Like dismounting with a ride check...

I could see opening a door (and other little maneuvers like that) as a swift action with an Acrobatics check ...


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Lehmuska wrote:

Something that bothers me with open door being a move action is that when a party rushes to a door, the one opening the door gets to go through last, unless he was next to the door at the beginning of his turn. In play, this has resulted in characters delaying their actions until a slower character can come open the door in question, because this enables faster characters to move further than if they opened the door themselves.

Example:** spoiler omitted **

This happens because opening a door is move action. If it cost less in terms of actions, faster characters Would be less likely to wait for slower characters to clear the path for them.

One option I can see to fix this is to make opening doors a swift action. This might be the most simple solution I can come up with, although it might be too fast that way.

Another option would be to make opening a door cost some amount of movement, (10ft?) so that characters could open a door and go through with only one move action. This option would reduce but not eliminate the problem, as faster characters would still get further if they allowed slower characters to clear the path for them.

I had made a similar post some time back, as I found it very anti-climatic when chase scenes were involved. Here is a link to that thread:

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/feedback/alpha3/newRules/openingClosingDoors

It's sort of a contentious rule in some respects, as many people have varying ideas on how much effort it takes to open/close a door. There are also the factors of how heavy the door is (size & construction material), and which way the door opens and closes. To analyze these factors would certainly be far beyond the simplicity needed to rule a game mechanic.

I have been playtesting with allowing a move action to be interrupted with a move action... so a player can move up to a door, open it, and keep moving. This has worked fairly well.

I have also been considering allowing a person to take a swift action to also close the door on a round that they spent a move action to open it -- this would take into account that one of the directions of travel through the door, would allow the player to open/close the door with their momentum.

The next best alternative is to assign a movement cost to open/close a door, however I think the allowance of an interrupted move action with a move action is still the best way to go.

PAIZO: Please consider amending the rules to allow a move action to be interrupted with a move action.


just allow it middle move is a smooth solution and the most logical.

barbarian (40' movement) moves 20 feet towards a door, opensit and moves another 20 feet if he wants to. no problem at all as far as I can see.

though you could use spring attack too move, crush the door and move again... stylish.. and elegant, from a raging barbarians perspective.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sebastian wrote:
I house ruled that a character can take that action in the middle of their movement (so, move, open door, continue the move). There are a lot of possible solutions to the problem, but I don't think much of a consensus was reached in that thread.

I too have changed opening a door to a swift action that can be performed in the middle of movement.


I would just say 'The act of opening an unlocked and unjammed door requires 5 extra feet of movement.'

This way, you could move 10 feet to a door, open it, and move an extra 15 feet beyond the door. Sort of like unstable terrain.

Batts


Iczer wrote:

I would just say 'The act of opening an unlocked and unjammed door requires 5 extra feet of movement.'

This way, you could move 10 feet to a door, open it, and move an extra 15 feet beyond the door. Sort of like unstable terrain.

Batts

opening a door should take at least a move action, though I can't rememeber ever running into a problem, I'd say it would be a good solution to finish the move after opening.

you will definately lose more than a single step in opening a door and a move action seems more consistent with other actions requiring a similar ammount of time.

Sovereign Court

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How about combining Kor and Achade's ideas...

Opening an unlocked, unstuck door is normally a move action that can take place during another move action, but with a DC 15 Acrobatics check, it may be done as a swift action (that can take place during a move action).

(If you wanted to get detaily, you could say DC 10 if the door opens away from you and DC 20 if it opens toward you.)

I'd like to see some discussion regarding whether or not a move action or a swift action should be able to interrupt move actions in general, or if it would just be on a case by case basis.


In 1e it was assumed that dungeon doors were difficult to open, and you had to make a d6 check based on Strength to open a door at all on your first try. That's why this whole discussion of move vs swift action seems odd to me. I think a full round action makes more sense.

From the 1e PHB: "Open Doors indicates the number of chances out of 6 which the character has of opening a stuck or heavy door on that try. Successive attempts may be made at no penalty with regard to damage to the character attempting to force the door open, but each attempt requires time and makes considerable noise."

What if you took a feat so you could open the door to the local tavern as a swift action and no one was impressed? I think that would be sad. Maybe a bard could make a Perform check to open a door as a swift action. He might look something like Cosmo Kramer.


I think it works as a move action that can be used within another move action, as described above. I would recommend against making it a swift action, as I envision characters standing by a door to a room and then on their turn,

1. Opening the door as a swift action.
2. Firing a ranged weapon or casting a spell as a standard action.
3. Closing the door as a move action.

Maybe it's not a big deal, but that seems to duplicate (to some extent) the potential of the Shot On The Run feat, which is a fairly advanced one.

CR

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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I have been thinking for a while now that opening a door is a move action if done by itself, or part of movement, taking up 5 feet of movement.

But I am not 100% convinced..

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
I have been thinking for a while now that opening a door is a move action if done by itself, or part of movement, taking up 5 feet of movement.

I think the danger of assigning a movement cost (i.e. 5 feet), is that it doesn't well reflect the various door types and / or the opener. A Strength 8 halfling is going to have trouble opening a large, solid oak door. Once you have to start considering other factors such as Strength, character size, door size & construction, then soon you will probably find a need to construct a chart (i.e. base: 5' to open a standard door; +5' for each size category the door is greater than your race size; +5' if Strength score is less than 9; etc)

It is quite simpler to just assign an action type to it, as actions can cover a broad range of factors. A swift action would be a similar cost as 5 feet of movement, in that it would assume that the door is quite easy to open.

I (like many others) believe that a move action would be the best suited for this type of action, especially if you allow a move action to be interrupted with a move action. (There may be cases where the GM might rule a light flimsy door could be opened with a swift action, or a large/heavy door would require a standard or full round action). I think the only additional rule that would need to be added, is should the character ever be required to use a Strength check to open a door, then it would take either a standard or full-round action to open it (probably a full-round).

Allowing Move Actions to be Interrupted with a Move Action
Not only would this allow characters to open or close a door during their movement, it would also allow performing any of the other Move Action examples listed on page 135 (Table 9-2). Probably the most commonly used move action, would be to pick up an item while walking.

Sovereign Court

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Kor - Orc Scrollkeeper wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
I have been thinking for a while now that opening a door is a move action if done by itself, or part of movement, taking up 5 feet of movement.
I think the danger of assigning a movement cost (i.e. 5 feet), is that it doesn't well reflect the various door types and / or the opener. A Strength 8 halfling is going to have trouble opening a large, solid oak door. Once you have to start considering other factors such as Strength, character size, door size & construction, then soon you will probably find a need to construct a chart (i.e. base: 5' to open a standard door; +5' for each size category the door is greater than your race size; +5' if Strength score is less than 9; etc).

I agree. Movement penalties are a logical system, it's just not the system we have in place. There may be other examples, but I can think of any off the top of my head. The standard/move/swift action system is well established and generally effective. Stick with that.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I have been thinking for a while now that opening a door is a move action if done by itself, or part of movement, taking up 5 feet of movement.

But I am not 100% convinced..

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

In my game, I work doors just like drawing a weapon. It is a move action, but it can be performed while moving normally if the door is unlocked/unstuck. A player can only attempt to open one door per move. If the door is locked/stuck, it requires other actions to open.

The action is trivial, so I don't want to put a movement burden or skill roll on something as boring as opening a door, but I avoiding abuse by idiots is always nice as well, so it probably needs to be more than a swift action.

Neal


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

just a comment that normally the fastest way to get a group through a door in real life is for one person to hold the door open for everyone else....

Having said that a 5' move penalty for an easily opened door makes perfect sense and is something i use already.

anything that would require a strength check (or has more than one latching system etc) I think should still require a move equivalent action....

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16, 2010 Top 4

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
I have been thinking for a while now that opening a door is a move action if done by itself, or part of movement, taking up 5 feet of movement....

These guidelines are what my group have been using for some time now.


You can draw a weapon as part of a move action with a base attack bonus of +1; opening a door could work the same way, but . . .

Opening a door while moving doesn't make sense unless the door opens the way you're moving. And then you've got door size, weight, your strength, and people in the way to consider.

In the interest of not adding a bunch of rules, leave it as a move action. Part of the game's strategy is determining who gets into a room first, and part of that is who opens the door.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I have been thinking for a while now that opening a door is a move action if done by itself, or part of movement, taking up 5 feet of movement.

But I am not 100% convinced..

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Jason, my groups have been playing with a very similar house rule for some time and it's helped speed up combat, both for GM and for players. A locked door is its own animal, but it makes as much sense for someone to open a door and move through it as it does for someone to draw a weapon as part of a move action.

It's always strained credibility for us when someone zips across the room, only to be killed because they had no movement left after turning a doorknob.


Assuming doors that are as easy to open as the door to your bathroom, I would say opening a door is a move action. I think you should succeed at a Dex check in order to combine any move action into actual movement (and still at a five foot cost). Combat nearby would add a -2 circumstance penalty to the check, as would poor visibility; armor penalties would also apply. Failure means you lose the extra move action as part of your movement, as well as the five feet you spent. If you still have your standard action, ending your movement still allows you to perform the intended action in the same round.

Shadow Lodge

I am Personally with jason on this.
Making it a swift action, come on, does a fighter ever really use a swift action, that isn't a penalty. The wizard, practically every round, but he likes the back of the bus anyway.
making it a 5' movement means you can open a door, and scoot. It takes into acount the time it takes to stop and open a door/ pick up an item. And as a bonus, when the rouge runs off and opens a chest in battle, he can take 6 items out per move action. Grab six items in 6 seconds. takes some dexterity. and no one has to play bell hop anymore, or tediously role play the surprize round to get a standard action, and that progresses the story, which is what it is all about.
That said, this is obviously a touchy subject, and there are alot of views. you have 3 choices to choose from. Move action, swift action, and 5' equivilant movement.

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